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Golf Channel Reimagines "Golf Central" by Modernizing it for the Digital Lifestyle

April 11,2018 01:19

This reimagined, daylong platform is designed for the digital lifestyle of our golf fans – who turn to us on-air, online and on-the-go when they want the latest news from the golf world.” With the support of TaylorMade Golf, Golf Channel looked to ...and more »

Golf Channel Reimagines "Golf Central" by Modernizing it for the Digital Lifestyle | Golf Channel

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Golf Channel’s Signature News Program Dating Back to the Network’s Launch in 1995; Now the Unrivaled News Leader for Millions of Golf Fans Worldwide
Golf Channel is modernizing its daily evening news show, Golf Central, expanding it from a nightly newscast to a day-long platform enhanced with innovative digital extensions. Golf Central was the first show to air on Golf Channel when co-founder Arnold Palmer launched the network in 1995 and continues to deliver in-depth analysis, breaking news reports, interviews with golf’s biggest stars and highlights from the game’s top professional tours.
Golf Central reaches golf fans in 80 countries around the world and is distributed in nine languages across North and South America, Asia and Europe. In 2018, Golf Central posted its most-watched first quarter ever and its popular Golf Central Live From the Masters platform posted its most-watched Masters week ever. Building on that momentum, Golf Central now will serve golf fans throughout the day with updates across linear, digital and social media platforms, officially starting this week.
“Golf Central has been a cornerstone of Golf Channel for 23 years,” said Molly Solomon, executive vice president of content and executive producer, Golf Channel. “We continue to look for opportunities to evolve how we best serve the millions of golf fans worldwide that turn to Golf Central as their unrivaled source for golf news. This reimagined, daylong platform is designed for the digital lifestyle of our golf fans – who turn to us on-air, online and on-the-go when they want the latest news from the golf world.”
With the support of TaylorMade Golf, Golf Channel looked to identify innovative ways to connect with golfers throughout the day. The resulting partnership established TaylorMade, the Carlsbad-based golf company, as the presenting sponsor of Golf Channel’s new Golf Central content platform.
“The media consumption behaviors of passionate golfers continue to evolve,” said David Abeles, CEO and president, TaylorMade Golf. “Our partnership with Golf Central allows us to more deeply integrate our brand, world-class Tour athletes and innovative products into the fabric of this new programming format. It’s a comprehensive approach that allows TaylorMade Golf to be at the center of golf news, information and performance moments.”
The reimagined Golf Central will feature regular enhancements, including:
Golf Central Updates within Morning Drive, the network’s daily morning show.
News updates throughout the day – both on linear television and digital segments from Golf Channel’s state-of-the-art newsroom.
Facebook Live and Twitter video updates with hosts and analysts, leading into evening newscasts.
Utilization of the critically acclaimed “Playing Through” commercial format in Golf Central pre-game coverage. This will be similar to how NBC Sports’ enhances live tournament coverage at The Open, Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, and Solheim Cup, as well as applications within NBC Sports’ coverage of the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics.
Innovative TaylorMade-sponsored features and content integrations.

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The PGA Tour travels to Hilton Head, S.C., for it's annual stop at the RBC Heritage the week after the Masters. Here are the key stats and information for the festivities at Harbour Town. Click here for full-field tee times.
How to watch:
Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.
Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.
Purse: $6.7 million ($1,206,000 to the winner)
Course: Harbour Town Golf Links (par 71, 7,099 yards)
Defending champion: Wesley Bryan (-13) by one shot over Luke Donald
News and notes: 
• This is the 50th RBC Heritage. It was first played here in November 1969 and won by Arnold Palmer by three strokes over Richard Crawford and Bert Yancey.
• Ten of the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking are in the field this week (highest ranked is World No. 1 Dustin Johnson) ...12 major champions ... 11 winners of this event ... nine of 20 winners this season on the PGA Tour. 
Notables in the field:

Dustin Johnson:
• The world No. 1 is making first start in RBC Heritage since 2009 when he missed the cut.
• Is coming off a tie for 10th last week at the Masters. He's finished in the top 10 in his last three starts at Augusta National.
• Leads the PGA Tour in several statistical categories this season, including scoring average, driving distance and three-putt avoidance and par-5 scoring.

Matt Kuchar:
• Won this tournament in 2014 (last PGA Tour victory) and has made the cuts in 13 of 14 career starts at Harbour Town.
• Started hot at the Masters last week, getting in early contention with a first-round 68 before fading to a tie for 28th with rounds of 75, 72 and 73 over the final three days.
• Has nine rounds of 68 or better at the RBC Heritage since 2014, most of any player during that span.

Luke Donald:
• Former world No. 1 has seven top-three finishes in this tournament, but has never won it. He finished in second place last year. Only one runner-up has come back to win the RBC Heritage the following year: Glen Day (1998-1999).
• His 21 rounds in the 60s at Harbour Town since 2009 are six more than any other player during that span.
• Over the last five years, he is a combined 45 under in this tournament – ten shots better than any other player during that stretch.

Ian Poulter:
• Playing a PGA Tour event for the sixth straight week. He finished T-44 in the Masters after nabbing the last spot in the field with a win two week's ago at the Houston Open.
• Was tied for 123rd after the opening round of the Houston Open - the worst opening round position by a PGA Tour winner over the last 35 years.

Wesley Bryan:
• Coming off a missed cut in his first Masters last week after rounds of 74-78. The Augusta, Ga., resident qualified with his first PGA Tour win last year in Hilton Head.
• The former trick-shot artist became the first South Carolina native to win the Heritage but has struggled to contend of late, missing the cut in his last four events.

Article Tags: 2018 RBC Heritage, Tee Times, TV schedule

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The first time Davis Love III attended the RBC Heritage he was 5 years old, the event’s first year in 1969 when his father, Love Jr., tied for 40th place.
“I remember playing in the marsh mud,” Love laughed on Tuesday at Harbour Town.
Love went on to win the event five times, the last coming in 2003. Keeping with the family tradition, Love’s son, Dru, began accompanying his father to the event when he was 5 years old. He’s now 24 and an aspiring professional who will tee it up this week at the Heritage alongside his father.
“It means a lot,” said Dru Love, who received a sponsor exemption into the event. “It’s my family’s favorite tournament, his favorite, my mom’s favorite, sitting by the beach and the pool. It’s my favorite for watching golf.”
RBC Heritage Open: Articles, photos and videos
This year it will be Davis Love III’s turn to watch, but it seems there are limits to how much interest he will have in his son’s play. Asked how he would feel if the duo found themselves competing against each other late on Sunday, the younger Love quickly stepped in.
“I can promise if we’re side-by-side coming down 18 he’s going to try everything he’s got to beat me,” Dru Love said.
Which prompted a telling response from Davis Love, “Definitely, but I’ll still be pulling for you.”

Article Tags: Davis Love, Davis Love III, Dru Love, 2018 RBC Heritage

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Jordan Spieth tapped in for bogey and turned toward that iconic leaderboard adjacent to the 18th green at Augusta National.
It was the first time all day he’d allowed himself a peak. He hadn’t checked after making birdie on his first two holes, after he made the turn at 5 under par, not even after his 33-footer for birdie at the 16th hole dropped to temporarily give him a share of the Masters lead with Patrick Reed.
“When I finished and I looked at the board, I could have been in the lead by two, and I could have been down four,” Spieth said on Sunday at Augusta National “Neither one would have surprised me.”
Many have balked at Spieth’s claim, figuring it would be impossible for him not to have known his position considering Sunday’s atmosphere and his proximity to final pairing, four holes behind him.
“Honest to God. Didn't look once today,” Spieth stressed.
Spieth’s approach to the final round, which he began nine strokes off the lead, is in juxtaposition to how Reed played his final 18 holes.
“I always, always watch leaderboards, no matter what event it is, whether it's the first hole on Thursday or the last hole on Sunday,” Reed said. “For some reason, I always want to know where I stand.”
Reed knew when Spieth tied him for the lead with his birdie at No. 16. And he was well aware of what Rickie Fowler, who would finish runner-up and a stroke back, was doing in the group ahead.
“To hear that roar on the last [which Fowler birdied], I just knew it had to be Rickie, because, you know, to win your first major is never going to be easy,” Reed said “It's just a way of God basically saying, let's see if you have it.”
The contrast in styles might have something to do with each players’ personality. Reed, who is renowned as one of the game’s top match-play opponents, seems to savor every uncomfortable minute. Spieth, at least on Sunday, wanted to box himself into a competitive cocoon and see where the day took him.
On Tuesday at the RBC Heritage, the should-you-or-shouldn’t-you-look conversation was a frequent topic.

“You don’t coach the fourth quarter of a football game without knowing what the score is,” Lucas Glover reasoned. “I don’t think I could do it with that round going. Kudos to [Spieth], and I don’t know if you can play any of those holes differently. If bunkers were ponds on 18 [at Augusta National], it might be different. It’s hard to criticize a 64 on Sunday at Augusta. I personally couldn’t do it.”
Robert Garrigus is the guy to ask when it comes to leaderboard watching. At the 2010 FedEx St. Jude Classic, Garrigus famously stepped to the 72nd tee with a three-stroke lead and pulled his drive wildly left and into a hazard. He would make a triple bogey-7 on the hole and lose a playoff to Lee Westwood.
“There was a situation where I didn’t look at a leaderboard and I lost because I didn’t look at it, so now I do,” Garrigus laughed. “Some guys are against it, some are constantly looking. I think I have a feel for the situation where I know where I’m kind of at.
But there are just as many examples of a player who denied himself the chance to feel distracted and had it it work out, like Davis Love III at the 2015 Wyndham Championship.
After staring the day four strokes off the lead, Love played his first seven holes in 4 under par and moved into the lead with an eagle at the par-5 15th hole.
“When I walked off the last hole, [tournament official] Bobby Long came up and said, ‘Congratulations,'” Love recalled. “I said, ‘Well, I think I had to make that putt [for birdie at the 18th].’ He was like, ‘What are you talking about? You had a two-shot lead.’”
It was exactly what Dr. Bob Rotella had been trying to teach Love for years, to ignore the distractions and the pressure that accompanies outcome-driven thoughts.
“I made an effort after my hot start to say I’m not going to look at the leaderboard. I’m not going to think about the Masters. I’m not going to think about winning a golf tournament. I’m going to do my routine until I run out of holes,” Love said. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
There are countless examples of players, like Reed, who rely on what’s going on around them to dictate their actions, particularly late on Sunday.
At the 2016 Travelers Championship, Russell Knox stepped to the 16th tee and immediately sought out the closest leaderboard to determine how he would play the final three holes.
“I was two ahead with three to go, and I knew there was no one who could catch me. It made it more stressful, but it was nice to know that’s what I needed to do,” said Knox, who won a stroke. “The position [Spieth] was in, maybe he just said, 'OK, I’m not going to look and just go after it.' I would have been looking after I made the putt on 16.”
Players are split on whether they should or should not look at a leaderboard, but there was consensus on one front – whatever works for you is the right answer.

Article Tags: 2018 Masters Tournament, 2018 RBC Heritage, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Russell Knox, Davis Love III, Lucas Glover

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With less than two months left in the college season, Oklahoma State looks like a prohibitive favorite to win the NCAA Championship.
Especially on its home course.
The Cowboys, No. 1 in the Golfstat rankings, won their seventh consecutive event Sunday at the Aggie Invitational. That win streak matches the longest single-season mark in program history, set in 1986-87. That team also captured the first two events of the following season, stretching its win streak to nine total.
The seven-stroke victory in Bryan, Texas, was Oklahoma State’s eighth of the season while playing one of the country's most difficult schedules. No other Division I program has more than five.
“The guys are really playing well,” said head coach Alan Bratton. “It’s fun to be a part of.”
The only event the Cowboys haven’t won this season was the Fighting Illini Invitational in the fall, where they finished third, 13 shots behind Texas A&M. They played that event without one of their best players, sophomore Viktor Hovland.
With four events left on the schedule, including the NCAA Championship at its home course, Karsten Creek, Oklahoma State has a chance to become the winningest team in program history, surpassing the 1985-86 squad, which won 10 times.
Still, OSU needs to finish strong to even be considered one of the best teams this decade.
The 2012-13 Cal team won 11 times, posted a head-to-head record of 206-3-1 (the three losses by a total of five shots), beat their opponents by a combined 8,238 strokes and had a lineup with three first-team All-Americans and a pair of second-teamers. That team didn’t win the championship, however, losing to Illinois in the NCAA semifinals. In 2013-14, Alabama won an NCAA record 11 times in a row across two seasons.
But in the college golf community, there’s already a strong sense of déjà vu this spring.
During the 2010-11 season, Oklahoma State also had the best team in the country – a group that included current PGA Tour players Peter Uihlein, Kevin Tway, Morgan Hoffmann and Talor Gooch – and a home-course advantage at the NCAAs. But that spring, in the semifinals, the Cowboys lost a heartbreaker to Patrick Reed-led Augusta State.
This year’s team, statistically, might be even better.
All five of OSU’s starters has a sub-72 scoring average, led by Hovland’s 69.28 and freshman Matthew Wolff’s 69.77, both of whom are ranked inside the top 6 nationally. Zach Bauchou (No. 20) and Kristoffer Ventura (No. 47) are also in the top 50, while freshman Austin Eckroat is ranked 67th.
"Every year is different," Bratton said, "but so far, so good with this one. I like the chemistry of this group. Along with the talent level, the chemistry has helped raise our level of play." 
Oklahoma State’s bid for an eighth consecutive victory begins Saturday at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational.

Article Tags: Oklahoma State, College golf, college, NCAA Golf

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